Insured loss estimates are coming in for the fall’s historic California wildfires, and they’re substantial.
Catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide said it estimates insured losses from the fires will likely now hit between $8 billion and $10.5 billion.
AIR Worldwide, a Verisk-owned business, said its revised estimate covers the Tubbs, Nuns, Atlas, Redwood and Sulphur fires in California. Air Worldwide said the new numbers encompass damage to residential, mobile home, commercial and automobile lines of business, and also direct business interruption losses. Also included in the figure: demand surge stemming from labor and material shortages, but extra expenses such as debris removal aren’t part of the estimate.
AIR said the losses to vineyards and wineries remain a moving target. The firm said it doesn’t expect losses from either to be a big portion of the total insured fire losses, but that “the value of the equipment, machinery, and inventory at the wineries may exceed the content values contemplated in AIR’s Industry Exposure Database.”
AIR Worldwide’s more expensive estimate follows a prediction from Aon Benfield’s Impact Forecasting pointing to as much as $8 billion in insured losses from the California wildfires. Both Impact Forcasting and AIR Worldwide’s numbers are well above the $3.32 billion in claims payouts already reported for the wildfires, according to California Department of Insurance statistics.
RMS, meanwhile, estimates economic losses from fires hitting Sonoma, Napa, Solano, Lake and Mendocino counties will land between $6 billion and $8 billion. The number excludes automobile or agriculture crop losses. Because there are high penetration rates of wildfire coverage in standard homeowners and commercial policies, RMS said insured losses should be in a similar range.